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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Live Life In The Present Tense: Why Ambition Can Be Negative

As a writer I am a naturally driven and ambitious person. I constantly seek out each day ways in which I can improve myself, my life and my craft. I have lists of goals as long as my arms and I often find myself thinking if only I could achieve more than my life would be better.

But I have read several blog posts over the past month that stress having this particular thought pattern isn't always good for us.

People can waste hours each day thinking about things that are sometimes unachievable. How many times how you thought that by winning the lottery your life would be so much better? Of course I am sure it would be in many ways but realistically - how are you going to achieve something like that?

Having goals and ambitions is great so long as you keep a sense of realism and perspective about them. If you lack the last two things your goals and ambitions are likely to become something negative. If you always think about the future and what your life would be like if you had the things you wanted, you are actually missing out on life's present tense and what you have to do now in order to achieve these goals.

I once had a friend who was exactly like this. He was always thinking that his life would be better if it was easier to find jobs that the current recession has stolen. He was unemployed but instead of actively seeking out ways to resolve this he would blame anyone he possibly could for his current issues. In the end I concluded the man was a lost cause because he failed to see that the only person who could do something about his life was himself. No matter how hard you tried to help him there was always an excuse for why he hadn't followed anything up.

So, whatever your ambitions are in life make sure you're doing everything you possibly can in life's present tense to achieve them.


  1. Nice post Laura. The brain is such a powerful computer. To get what we want in life we have to have goals and targets. The brain feeds from this and finds ways and opportunities present themselves. The only trouble is we can be so wrapped up in the here and now that we miss the opportunity as we are not ready for it. You have to be ready to act on a hunch and put the effort in to change our lives.
    Your lost cause was a perfect case of this.
    This will not happen to you if you have goals. Make sure you don't quit on your dream when you are close to achieving it. I have done this countless times in employment without realising it at the time.
    Keep the faith with your writing and you will achieve all you want to, I just know it.

    Oops sorry for the length of this comment. The sermon would have been better as a guest post. Let me know if you would like me to guest write for you and I would do the same for you. Great for backlinking.

  2. HI L.K. I enjoyed your post about ambition. We as writers really are driven aren't we? I have been setting one goal a month. I often find that when I look back at the end of the month, not only did I meet the goal but so many other things came from it. I figure one goal a month isn't so overwhelming and at the end of the year, 12 goals make for a pretty awesome year. Glad to have connected, Barbara

  3. Good points.

    One can work toward a better tomorrow, but wisdom says to still enjoy the gifts of today. We only live in the "today."

  4. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your thoughtful and insightful comment. You really do sound like a fascinating person and I think we have lots in common. I would love for you to do a guest post for me. When you have the time just send it to my email: lkwatts at and I'll post it the following week.


    I love setting goals and I always find that as soon as you set one another one pops up almost straight away. Thanks for your comment.

    Wise points there Time. But it's surprising how often we forget this.

  5. We are in the same frequency, Laura. I love your perspective on present and future. My outlook on life is geared more on the present. What you've done today is what would bear fruit in the future.

  6. Hi Mario,

    Out of all the tenses, the present is the only one that really matters. Thanks for your comment.